Two in top ten on Vuelta stage ten for ORICA-GreenEDGEMon 31 Aug 2015
ORICA-GreenEDGE has placed Jens Keukeleire and Daryl Impey in the top ten on stage ten of the Vuelta a Espana, finishing in seventh and eighth respectively.
After a busy start to the Tour, the Australian outfit took a more conservative approach to the final stage before the first rest day, taking a back seat in the chase after have Australian Cameron Meyer in an early break.
As Giant-Alepcin and Team Movistar forced the race into a bunch kick, Keukeleire and Impey worked together to take advantage of a depleted sprint pool.
“It was meant to be pretty easy but there was a bit of a cross wind and stress so the boys rode like a general classification day,” sport director Neil Stephens said. “There was a bit of work required in the middle of the bunch to make sure we were well placed.”
“Even though it was stressful, the boys got through it well and we even had a crack in the finish.”
As the riders look forward to a well deserved rest day after an huge ten days of racing, Stephens reflected on an incredible start to the final Grand Tour of the year.
“It’s been a dream run up until now,” Stephens said of the three stage wins and six days in the red leader’s jersey. “I think we have to remember to pinch ourselves.”
“We are here for three weeks, it’s been a fantastic ten days but we won’t rest on our morals. We are not sure what we can do from here on in, even if we walk away with what we have it’s been fantastic, but were are certainly going to fight for more results.”
Colombian Esteban Chaves still sits third overall, less than one-minute down on race leader Tom Dumoulin. The 25-year-old is looking forward to the much anticipated rest day tomorrow before a huge stage 11 in Andorra.
“Today was a really fast stage, all day 50/45km per hour,” Chaves said. “It was really humid, like Colombia, which for me is good but for sure the other riders were suffering a lot.”
“More difficult today is the next stage. Five hours in the bus, eat in the bus.
“We arrive at the first rest day really really happy and we continue the next round on Wednesday.”
How it happened:
With many of the sprinters already departed from this year’s Vuelta a Espana, and one of the favourites riding for the same team as the leader, many thought stage nine would be a good opportunity for a successful break.
The feeling was the same within the peloton and early action mirrored this attitude with a number of attempted attacks in the early kilometres.
Up the first climb, a large group of 40 riders formed. ORICA-GreenEDGE had Meyer amongst them.
Too big, the group was unsettled and didn’t work cohesively to build much of a gap. As a result many dropped back to the peloton, including Meyer, as others hovered just one-minute ahead with 60km still to race. Less than five kilometres later, the race was back together.
Late attacks also proved unsuccessful over the final climb with 25km to go and courtesy of those dropping off the back a reduced bunch arrived at the finish for the sprint won by Kristian Sbaragli (MTN Qhubeka).